The collections here are in a state of flux, as I add to them regularly
It was a privilege to be invited to preach at the English-speaking non-denominational church in Mirepoix, France, some years ago. It was then an honour and a responsibility to be given a regular opportunity to share my thoughts on spiritual matters with a Christian focus. I take the crafting of these Sermons extremely seriously. I have never pretended to any theological training (though being entitled to put A.K.C. after my name does prove that I sat through three years of weekly lectures on religious topics and passed an examination at the end of my time at King’s College, London). What I aim to do in each sermon, however, is respond thoughtfully and openly to two or more Biblical texts, usually allotted to a given Sunday in the Church of England lectionary. I hope that what I have written makes for engaging reading.
The Tales of Our Forebears represent my first real venture into the writing of short stories. I have always been interested in family history, storing away those stories related by my parents and grandparents. The ability to research one’s family-tree online, accessing parish records and census returns, as well as making contact with distant relatives doing the same thing, has provided even more material. These Tales are a mixture of imagined situations, based on fact or incidents I have had described to me, fleshed out and crafted.
Anyone who is interested in crafting words will write poems.
I was not infrequently asked, as an English teacher, what made a piece of writing a poem. The only answer I found to be always applicable concerned the line. In a poem, it matters where the line ends and another begins. The poet uses the line as a form of punctuation, to nudge the reader in a particular direction. The beginnings and ends of lines of poetry are potent places.
I have not practised sufficiently to craft poems where the form is tight, where rhyme or rhythm play their parts and still the meaning is unimpaired. Instead, I play with euphony, word associations and the allusive patterns of meaning which the spare nature of poetry lends itself to.
Many of these Miscellaneous Poems were written for particular people or for special occasions. I hope that they also stand up to general scrutiny.